BLITZ: News and notes from a week of scrimmages

Blitz_Inset 2Since my Outside the Huddle colleague Bounce has been hard at work this summer hitting up prep events on the hardwood, Blitz has awoken from his slumber just in time to take in some football.

June is traditionally a month of scrimmages and single-day shootouts for high school football. Blitz has taken in some action this week out at Leo and at the OPS Summit City Shootout at Homestead.


If Norm Knapke had been a quarterback going Division I, he would have been everyone’s player of the year last season. The senior threw for 3,190 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Knights last fall.

Who is the heir apparent to Knapke? Senior Christian Fly looks to be the logical choice. While a bit on the small side, the kid has an absolute cannon. Decision making is the one thing that Fly must improve upon. Unfortunately, no amount of athletic talent can hide a bad choice with the football.

The wild card could be Concordia transfer Carson Clark. If the transfer goes through, the sophomore could get the nod if he shows he is mature enough to lead a varsity offense despite his youth.

Both quarterbacks had their moments on Tuesday against Leo. Neither did much out of the pocket, which could end up being the deciding factor in who gets the nod Week 1 at Carroll.


C.J. McCarter was a dangerous two-way player for Bishop Luers back in 2014 and 2015, accumulating over 100 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 28 touchdowns over two years.

Two brothers of McCarter will be household names in the near future.

Arieon McCarter is a junior defensive back at North Side and just today received his first D1 offer – Western Michigan. McCarter did not see any varsity action last season but is expected to line up at both safety and cornerback for the Legends this year.

Meanwhile, freshman Jayden Hill at Bishop Luers drew eyes to his physical stature at Leo earlier this week. While raw, it may be tough for Coach Kyle Lindsay to keep Hill off the field. He already looks the part of a high school linebacker and/or wide receiver. Expect Hill to at least see some special teams action at the varsity level as a rookie.


It is tough to take much out of 7-on-7 scrimmages other than scouting the QBs. Reaction time and the ability to read plays from defenders is mitigated by the fact that they know it is a pass play.

But one defender who stood out at Wednesday’s OPS Summit City Shootout was Angola senior Ryan Brandt.

The safety has been sitting on an offer from Purdue for awhile, easily his best D1 offer. With the recruiting momentum the Boilermakers have, it would be a solid spot for Brandt to land.

Angola senior Ryan Brandt looks the part of a Division I safety, as evidenced Wednesday at the OPS Summit City Shootout at Homestead.

But enough about recruiting, Brandt looks chiseled. He has obviously put in the work to look the part of a D1 safety. His footwork has become so smooth that it looks almost effortless, the mark of a real good defensive back.

Brandt does not get to shine in pass defense as much in the NECC as he would in the SAC, but his size, quickness and athleticism adds up to being a punishing run defender.


He may have spent most of the spring on the hardwood, but junior Luke Goode looked in fine shape on the football field on Wednesday, hooking up with receivers on the regular in a pair of Homestead Summit City Shootout wins.

While Goode and senior Jake Archbold split time at quarterback in 2018, do not expect the same arrangement again. Archbold wants to be on the field and will likely see action at different positions.

Goode is a top 100 basketball player in his class, but he will be the focal point of the Homestead football team this fall, at least offensively.


We were blessed with the “Brothers Becker” in Jonathan and Justin in both football and track at Carroll, now we have another one.

While his older brothers specialized in pass catching, sophomore Jeff Becker has focused his training at quarterback. It has paid off, with Becker looking to be in position to be the starting QB for the Chargers.

The fact that Carroll coach Doug Dinan appears that he will trust a sophomore with his offense shows just how good Becker could be. Dinan, like most coaches, is most comfortable with upperclassmen running the show behind center. In the past few years, Gaven Vogt and Jack Miguel have shined as senior quarterbacks who bided their time in the program.

Becker looks like he will not be handled in that way, which will be a fascinating storyline to watch in Huntertown.


Blitz expects big years out of Churubusco seniors Sam Wood and Jake Fulk on both sides of the ball. It is no secret that the two are the Eagles’ most talented players entering 2019.

Do not be surprised to see ‘Busco coach Paul Sade and his staff tinker with the offense to highlight Wood and Fulk.

Just don’t expect five-wide on the first offensive play against Whitko on Aug. 23.


Excuse Blitz’s language but, what the hell IHSAA?

As broke by Outside the Huddle last week, a rules change involving Success Factor will keep Snider in 6A rather than bump it back to 5A, setting up a scintillating Snider v. Bishop Dwenger matchup in sectional play.

The problem isn’t with the rules change, but rather the fact that the IHSAA released its sectional alignments without this change being factored in. Now, the IHSAA must redraw the sectional alignments, with several other Indiana programs being affected.

The excitement that had already been building for months for the mega-matchup between two of the most storied programs in the state was dashed quickly.

Why did the IHSAA release the alignments knowing that the rules change could be coming? Amateurish at best.


Per usual, there has been plenty of movement between schools in the offseason. Many of the players in new places are participating in summer workouts and scrimmages.

However, those players are not deemed eligible until all the transfer paperwork is finalized. Blitz could break down what this addition or this subtraction means for a team, but the fact of the matter is the transfer process is incredibly fluid?

Is this kid eligible? Is that kid going to be stuck playing JV all year?

It is impossible to predict at this point.

These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH.





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